Disclaimer: Squaresoft owns all the characters. I don’t own anything.

Knowing Innocence

(Working title)

Chapter 8

By Purple Penguin

The constant repetitive beat pounded in my ears, of course it was annoying but this time I wasn’t lying in my room alone wondering if Zell would ever turn off that music. Instead the little blonde had tied his punching bag to the ceiling of the living room. At first when he started to work out in front of me I was delighted, wouldn’t you be if you got to drool over the guy you had a crush on while he’s half naked and sweaty? A moment later my thoughts began to betray me and I started to image running my palms across his sweaty torso. Zell still did annoy me a little but now that things had changed and he wasn’t so uncomfortable around me, I had learnt patience and most of the things that I found annoying I now thought were pretty cute.

He turned to look at me and smiled through his panting. The stopwatch I held started to beep.

“Oh man, five seconds too short.”

Zell had asked me to time him for his half-hour work out.

“It was your fault.” He accused.


“Yeah, you put me off.”

“But you turned to look at me, I didn’t do anything.”

“Exactly. If you hadn’t been there I wouldn’t have had a reason to turn around.”

“Excuses, excuses.” I teased.

He pouted and disappeared into his room.

I got up to talk to him through the door while he got dressed.

“Did you hear that the welcome ball is back on?”

“It is? Really? How come?”

“Selphie’s hosting it.” I smirked, waiting for his reaction.

“WHAT?! No way am I going! She’ll find some way to embarrass me. You’ll probably be a new target for her.”

“She’s not that bad.”

“You do remember the photo right?”

“Yeah, but Xu and Quistis took that not Selphie.”

“Still. You don’t know her like I do; she’s like a plague of cheeriness.”

I chuckled, leaning my head back on the door of his room. “Xu’s forcing me to go so you have to come keep me sane. Besides it’s your welcome party so you have to go.”

“Fine but-” He stepped out wearing dark blue jeans and a baggy black T-shirt. He poked me in the chest with one finger. “You have to keep me safe from Selphie the devil, deal?”

I smiled and ruffled his hair. “Deal. I’m used to rescuing damsels in distress.”

“DAMSEL?! I am NOT a damsel!” He glared at me.

“Awww, I’m sure you’d make a real pretty princess in a fairy tale.” I smirked.

Zell’s glare deepened and blushed slightly. He walked past me then looked back with a wicked gleam in his eye. “If you were the prince would you save me?” He batted his eyelashes at me.

The grin fell off my face and I think I blushed. The little blonde grinned and blew a kiss at me as he exited our dorm. I shook off the blush. He just wanted to embarrass me; well two can play at that game. I followed him out to Quistis and Xu’s dorm; we were picking them up for breakfast.


“The ball’s in two days time aren’t you excited?”

The red head shrugged. “When you’ve bee to as many of these things as I have to start to see it as routine.”

Quistis stood in front of a full-length mirror wearing a dress she might wear to the ball. It was sky blue with straps over the shoulders, and it came down to her ankles. Her long blonde hair was loose over her shoulders. “What do you think?”

Xu ran her eyes over her roommate then turned away. “It’s nice.” Quistis would look good in a bin liner, all the dresses she had tried on looked good, she didn’t have to worry. Now if Xu could just tell her that, it would make things simpler.

“Just nice huh?” She disappeared into her cupboard again looking for something else.

“Who are you going with? Selphie’s forcing everyone to have a partner.”

“I don’t know yet, don’t know anyone here.”

“Would you.... maybe.... go with me?”

The blonde smiled. “Sure.”

The red head smiled. That was easier than she thought. She chuckled. “We’re so much brighter than those guys are. Seifer would never ask Zell out like that”

Quistis laughed. “He’s probably do it hypothetically.”

Xu stood as someone knocked on the door. “That’ll be them.”


Xu gave me a funny look as she opened the door to us; she stared at my arm that was wrapped around Zell’s waist. I shook my head telling her it wasn’t what she thought.

“I’m Sir Almasy of Camelot; I’m simply escorting Princess Dinsht here to your dorm.”

She raised an eyebrow as Zell stomped past her, shooting an annoying look my way.

“What was all that about?”

I waved a hand absently. “Nothing. I’m just playing with him. He knows that.”

It was her turn to smirk as she followed me inside. “All set for the ball? Have you asked him yet?”

“He said he might not go. Have you asked Quistis?”

“He has to go, it’s the rules and everyone must have a partner. And yes I have asked Quistis and she agreed.”


We walked through to the lounge but stopped in shock. Zell and Quistis were standing in dance positions. There was music playing and the girl was trying to get the other blonde to dance ballroom style with her. I held back a smile, he wasn’t very good.

“This way Zell. No! Watch what you’re doing!” Quistis broke away from him. “God, you have two left feet.”

“I’m not going to the ball. Selphie will embarrass me I just know it.”

“You have to go Selphie won’t do anything. She’ll be far too busy being the host. Besides you have to have a partner it’s a new rule.”

“So that’s it! That’s how she’s going to embarrass me. Everyone else will have a partner except me and everyone will laugh because they’ll think I’m a lonely old hermit!”

I had to laugh I couldn’t help it. “Zell, don’t you think you’re over reacting just a little, she’s not purposely targeting you.”

“You have more chance of embarrassing yourself if you dance like that.”

“Maybe you’re not such a great teacher!”

I put on the same track on the CD and gestured for me to have a go. I removed my trench coat and walked up to Zell. I moved his arms so he had one on my shoulder and one around my waist. He looked a little scared and his eyes remained fixed on the floor.

“No, look at me.” I lifted his chin as he was forced to look at me.

“But then I can’t see what I’m doing.”

“You don’t have to.” I told him what to do and began to count the beat so he kept in time with me.

“See? You’re a pro.” Xu cooed.

“Guess it depends on the teacher.” Quistis smirked.

I knew what she was trying to imply. I smiled at the little blonde in my arms.

“See? Your partner will be pleased.”



“Will you go with me to the ball?”

The girls smiled and gave me thumbs up over Zell’s head.

“Yeah. okay.”

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